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Manchester Crimewatch: Woman asks court for excuse note for missed class

June 10. 2014 9:53PM

MANCHESTER — A woman who spent a good portion of Tuesday morning in 9th Circuit Court-Manchester District Division, waiting her turn to plead not guilty to a theft charge, asked after her arraignment if she could get a note to show where she had been.

Amanda Fortier, 25, of 90 Stearns Circle, said she was supposed to be in a class. A police prosecutor suggested the paper she received showing her scheduled trial date should suffice.

Fortier is accused of putting $21.95 in merchandise in her purse May 5 and leaving Market Basket, 460 Elm St., without paying. She is free on $2,000 personal recognizance bail, with conditions that include not going to Market Basket. A trial was scheduled for July 14.

Wait for interpreter

Oscar Gutierrez Cardona, 28, of 324 Lake Ave., pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of operating without a valid license and violating rules for passengers, by having a 1-year-old child in the rear of the vehicle without the child being buckled into a safety seat. The charges resulted from a police stop May 26 on Lake Avenue, near Union Street, for an equipment violation.

But the plea process didn’t go smoothly.

Gutierrez Cardona had requested the assistance of a Spanish language interpreter for the arraignment and plea, but he began to answer the judge in English before the interpreter could repeat the questions in Spanish and the answers in English. “Wait for the interpreter,” Judge John Emery said in English, and interpreter Angela Hoke repeated the direction in Spanish for Gutierrez Cardona.

So the arraignment began again. But it was halted again when the judge noticed that one of the charges was dated 2013 and one was dated 2014. Police prosecutor Sgt. Stephen Reardon requested permission to fix the 2013 date, saying the officer was new.

But Emery first wanted to know if Gutierrez Cardona objected to the change. As interpreted by Hoke, Gutierrez Cardona said: “They didn’t stop me in 2013.” He said the stop was in 2014.

Finally, Gutierrez Cardona was able to enter his plea to both charges. He was fined $100, including the penalty assessment, on the violation of operating without a valid license. A $100 fine on the car seat violation was suspended for one year of good behavior.

Already paying restitution

Leslie Therrien, 40, of 80 Lucille St., was in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division on Tuesday on a warrant from Derry District Division for her failure to appear there on a restitution issue in connection with a 2011 theft conviction. Therrien said: “Restitution is being paid out of my paycheck.”

Therrien also had failed to appear in Manchester in February on an October 2013 charge of operating without a valid license, so she was told she owes a $50 failure-to-appear fee.

A man in the gallery, who told Judge Emery he is Therrien’s husband, said they both work at Market Basket. He said they don’t have money for the $1,000 cash/surety bail on the Derry warrant, but would be able to pay the $50 fee Tuesday.

The man, who did not give his name, also said Therrien has a 14-year-old son at home. A police prosecutor said the Division for Children, Youth and Families would be notified.

The judge reduced the Derry bail to $500 cash/surety. Therrien is scheduled to appear in Derry District Division on June 16. She is scheduled to appear in Manchester on the license violation July 31.

Language barrier

A man who negotiated a plea to speeding on the Bridge Street Bridge with police prosecutor Carrissa Pelletier on Tuesday morning, in advance of his arraignment in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division, might have had second thoughts when he appeared before Judge Emery.

Pelletier said the terms called for George Pascale, 34, of 111 Blevens Drive, to enter a guilty plea to a violation alleging a reduced speed of 55 in a 30 mph zone, with a fine and assessment totaling $186.

But when the judge asked Pascale if that was the agreement, he didn’t seem to understand English very well and said he needed a Romanian language interpreter. A man in the gallery, who identified himself as Pascale’s brother-in-law, and said he has lived here for 24 years and speaks English, offered to interpret.

After a conversation in mixed Romanian and English between Pascale and his brother-in-law, and with the judge in English, trying to determine whether Pascale wanted a trial or to enter a plea, it was determined that Pascale will return to court Thursday to enter a plea, this time with an official Romanian interpreter to assist him.

Owes for attorney fees

A warrant for failure to reimburse the Office of Cost Containment for attorney fees brought Angela Lunderville, 23, of 11 Newman St., Hillsborough, to Circuit Court-Manchester District Division on Tuesday morning.

The warrant called for a $500 cash/surety bail, but after a police prosecutor said the felony drug charges for which the charges had been incurred had been nolle prossed, or not prosecuted, bail was set at $5,000 personal recognizance.

Lunderville is scheduled to appear in Hillsborough District Division on June 26.

Denies heroin was his

Nathaniel Smith, 44, of 165 Conant St., could not enter a plea in circuit court to a felony charge of possession of a narcotic on Tuesday morning, so a probable cause hearing was set for June 24.

Smith was arrested late Monday afternoon after officers assigned to the Special Investigations Unit observed a person they described as “suspicious” in the parking lot of the Econolodge at 75 W. Hancock St.

The man was eventually observed entering the rear passenger seat of a vehicle parked nearby. The officers followed the vehicle when it left the area and initiated a stop on Conant Street, where the rear passenger was identified as Smith.

Police said Smith was found in possession of about .8 grams of suspected heroin, but Smith told Judge Emery on Tuesday: “It wasn’t in my possession.” Using his hands, he gestured as if to show it was around him, but not in his possession.

Police prosecutor Sgt. Stephen Reardon said Smith is on probation on a 2012 drug conviction in Hillsborough County Superior Court North and appears to have pending assault charges in Hooksett.

The judge set bail at $1,500 cash/surety.

Crime, law and justice Manchester

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